History of Reading

  • Period: to

    Before 1950's

  • 1950•

    Space Race, Sputnik
    Elvis Presely
  • Period: to


    • Phonics Debate
    • Look-say approach to learning sight vocabulary
    • Skills lessons in the teacher’s manual were not elaborate
    • Basal reading materials were published
    • Flesch’s Why Johnny Can’t Read (1955); Identified the cause of the reading problem, which was the look-say method
    • Chomsky (1957); Syntax Structure – revolutionized the field of linguistics
    • Humans are “wired” to acquire the language of the community into which they are born.
  • The 1960's

    The 1960's
    Cuban Missle Crisis
    Assassination of JFk and Martin Luther King Jr.
    Civil Rights Movements
  • Period: to

    The 1960's

    • 90% of students were taught reading through one approach
    • Chall, The Great Debate (1967) – Emphasize more phonics early on
    • Teacher’s manuals accompanied by workbooks and became more elaborate.
    • Title 1
    • Right to Read Program
    • Chomsky; 2 Facts about Language
    • Language is incredibly complex
    • Language is acquired quite easily and naturally by children.
    • Context and picture cues
    • Focused on early reading
  • The 1970's

    The 1970's
    Vietnam War
    Munich Massacre
  • Period: to

    The 1970's

    • The basals contained more stories, characters, and harder vocabulary.
    • Increase in tests on phonics skills
    • Skill Management System
    • Smith (1971) – Understand Reading.
    • 4 Sources of Information, Orthographic, Syntactic, Semantic and Visual
    • Schema Theory
    • More focus on comprehension
    • Criterion-referenced tests
    • Lots of work by psychologists on processes of reading
    • Linguistic and psycholinguisitic perspectives
  • The 1980's

    The 1980's
    The Challenger
    AIDs pandemic
  • Period: to

    The 1980's

    • Comprehension moves to center stage in reading pedagogy
    • L. Rosenblatt states meaning is created in exchange between the reader and text.
    • Schema model increases in popularity
    • Context of reading expanded to include instructional, non-instructional, home, and community
    • Writing became a stronghold in elementary language arts instruction
    • Anderson – A Nation of Readers
    • Atwell – pioneer of responsive teaching
    • Whole Language - info added in basals
    • Literature
    • Scaffolding
  • The 1990's

    The 1990's
    Princess Di
  • Period: to

    The 1990's

    • Integrated Instruction
    • Literature Circles
    • Whole Language believed in activity based learning, child-centered, the use of various texts and mini-lessons
    • Change of basals to deep questioning and extension activities
    • Demise of Whole Language, lack of skill instruction, lack of strategy instruction, text structure, content area reading
    • Report of the Committee on Reading Disabilities
    • Computer usage
    • Federally funded studies
    • Huge influx of immigrant children
    • Extension activities
  • 2000

    September 11th
    Iraq and Afganistan War
    IPad, Ipods, Iphones
  • Period: to


    • NCLB
    • Scientifically based reading research
    • Quantitative / experimental research over qualitative research
    • CCSS (Common Core State Standards)
    • Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP)
    • Reading First
    • Change of the role of reading specialist
    • Report from the National Reading Panel
    • Striving readers
    • Increase use of neuroscience in education
    • Professional Development Shift: teachers
  • Period: to

    Reference Page

    Pearson, P. D. (2010). American reading instruction since 1967. In Bean, R. M., Heisey, N., & roller, C. M. (Eds.), Preparing Reading Professionals (pp. 7–38). Newark, DE: International Reading Association Tracey, D. H., & Morrow, L. M. (2006). Lenses on reading: An introduction to theories and models. New York, NY: The Guilford Press.